Japan’s Kyoto Distillery rolls out Ki No Bi gin

24th January, 2017 by Nicola Carruthers

The Kyoto Distillery, believed to be the first dedicated gin distillery in Japan, has announced the international launch of its inaugural product – rice spirit-based Ki No Bi Kyoto Dry Gin.

Ki No Bi Kyoto Dry Gin is distilled, blended and bottled in Kyoto

Ki No Bi gin, which was first revealed in August last year, is said to have “a recognisable dry style with a distinct Japanese accent”. The new offering is “inspired by tradition” and distilled, blended and bottled in Kyoto.

Due to demand “out-stripping” supply in the domestic market, the international launch has been slightly delayed, according to the distillery.

Head distiller Alex Davies sourced raw materials from the Kyoto prefecture including yellow yuzu from the north, hinoki wood chips (Japanese cypress), bamboo and gyokuro tea from the Uji region and green sanshō (Japanese peppercorn) berries.

Fushimi water is also used to reduce the gin to bottling strength.

Key to the gin is the concept of ‘konwa’; combining and creating harmony. Botanicals are separated into six different categories (base, citrus, tea, herbal, spice and floral), and each category is then steeped in rice spirit before being distilled individually.

The distillates are then blended together before being left to marry, allowing the disparate flavours to “harmonise”.

The Kyoto Distillery was founded in 2015 by industry veterans Marcin Miller and David Croll under their new Number One Drinks Company Japan, with a focus on Japanese botanicals.

“There are many very good gins out there but not all speak of their place of origin. We wanted to draw inspiration as well as ingredients from Kyoto to establish authentic, local roots,” said Croll.

Ki No Bi Kyoto Dry Gin is available now in Japan, UK, Austria, France, Holland, Hong Kong, Italy, Norway, Portugal, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Sweden and in selected travel retail markets.

The Spirits Business visited the Kyoto Distillery in Japan last year – check out our picture round-up here.

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